Joakim Noah fined 50k for directing an anti-gay slur towards a fan

So Joakim called a drunk fan a f*ggot.   He was fined 50k for it.   I think the fact that the NBA was perpetually running ads during the game to not call people 'gay' probably contributed to the hefty fine.

I can't say I'm entrenched in the gay community enough to know how this type of thing affects the community.  Does it breed a negative attitude towards gays?  I grew up in an era where the term 'gay' was just a universal word for something that sucks.   I probably used the word 10,000 times before having any concept of what it meant (granted, I never used the term f*ggot with any regularity and certainly not after knowing what it meant).

After understanding what it meant, it took me a long while to try and remove it from my vocabulary.   It was something that was just built in.

All the while saying it, I've never really cared much one way or the other about someone else's sexuality.   It's simply not something I've thought of much in my life.  I've never used the term 'gay' in a way where I meant to offend an actual gay person.

I would suspect, especially given Noah's liberal lifestyle, that Joakim Noah also isn't using the word because he cares a wit about someone else's sexuality, but that's the problem with the whole situation.

People have a negative view of the term 'gay', they view it as an insult even if it's almost a separate meaning from the term actually defining homosexuality.   This is a largely issue because gay shouldn't be a negative term.

Unlike virtually any other negative term you can imagine to describe someone, there is a group of people who want it to be a positive term.    Granted, I doubt the gay community is trying to turn f*ggot into a positive term.

I do think there's some disconnect though.   If someone called you some racial slur that doesn't apply to you, you'd look at them like they were from mars rather than be offended.  Yet with a term like gay, it's not exactly like that.  Inherently, people still view being gay as a negative in that way.

I guess the difference being that straight men, take a certain pride in their straightness so to speak. I don't really pretend to have answers for these things, to know how or why someone else uses the term or whether or not they're offended by it.

I do know that it'd be best if we could do away with using it as a negative, and I applaud the NBA for trying to break through in this area, especially when sports have been so resistant to change


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  • if you call someone a f*ggot, you might not mean it literally, but its the rudest possible way to insult their manhood. It has taken on that connotation.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    and that's where the negative feeelings come from if called such, and why there is a disconnect b/t that & a racial slur. Same thing if you call a man a b*tch or a p*ssy.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The difference between the last two words and "f*ggot" is that the bitch and pussy are literally feminine. A man being gay doesn't make him weaker as a person or less of a man. That's why it's different and along the lines of using "gay" to describe something in a negative way.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    While I agree that it doesn't make someone weaker or lesser of a person, I do think it makes them more feminine in the usual circumstances, and that caries with it a connotation of being less manly, and then therefore weaker. Not justifying it, but saying thats how the disconection b/t that and a racial slur works, when both used incorrectly.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    & in that sense, its the same & bitch & pussy.

    What I think is most interesting, is the way our culture defines manhood, which is where I think this comes from. You're big, you're strong, good in competition ie sports, you're more of a man. The more women you conquer, the more of a man. So on the basketball court, you want attack them with words, you say their not good at competition, you say their weak, and you might use one of those words. Or you might tone it down & say something like "soft". But you're really saying the same thing, just depends how rude.

    Not right, but that's how in works to a large extent.

    The rudest way to insult a man is to insult his manhood.

    Quite the opposite for women isn't it? You call a female a dyke & while its certainly offensive to homosexuals I'm sure, but if a women is straight, I think she kind of laughs like the white guy getting called an Asian racial slur. Again, goes back to how we dine being a woman. A woman is not a woman by conquering a man, she is a woman by being a good nester, being there for her family. So the rudest way to insult a woman is to say she's promiscuous, or a whore.

    Again, not right, but that's really what happens in our society.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The funny thing is if Noah had called the fan a bitch or a pussy, no one would even flinch. But he called him a faggot and kaboom, everyone's up in arms.

  • In reply to goldfinger0014:

    and apparently you can't even type the word faggot

  • In reply to ChiRy:


  • In reply to goldfinger0014:

    didn't see you did, just in response to the first couple responses & Doug's original post.

  • In reply to ChiRy:


  • In reply to goldfinger0014:

    I apologize in advance for the profanities that will follow:

    Not sure about you Americans, but the term 'faggot' (in my circle of friends, at least) isn't used in a way that is specifically derogatory towards gay people. If anything, its more of a term used towards people who annoy you; similar to the use of such words as bastard and dickhead. Not that I feel that gay people embody these things, not at all. There is no link between gay people and the word faggot in my book.

    But I guess the underlying notion is that it was a word used to insult gay people. And I think that is where perhaps Noah's head is at. Not so much that the fan annoying him showed any correlation to being gay, but that he was overly annoying and just irritated the crap out of him??

    I just want to put it out there that I have nothing against or have any problem with gay people. That's their decision you know? You can't force the issue on these things... Btw, I'm from Australia..

  • In reply to rustumt:

    Hey, another Aussie!

    Just call em a Pedo. More insulting and won't get caught in any debates.

  • In reply to rustumt:

    Who gives an F*ck man..just play ball. If the bulls lose tonight the series is over.

  • In reply to rustumt:

    and BTW..if you ever read the lips of some of the players when they get into it with one another..the N word is said back and forth more times than i can count. And i've heard KG use it a ton of times on the bench during a timeout. I wonder if Noah had called the fan the N word would there be this much controversey. I doubt it

  • In reply to StephanH:

    I doubt it too.

  • In reply to StephanH:

    I really doubt it, because the n word is so commonly used amongst african american athletes that it has become accetable across in the world of sports where african american athltes dominate. Does it make it ok? of course not!

  • In reply to rustumt:

    The South Park episode "The F Word" Explores the exact same premise

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Incredibly disappointing from Jo, much more so than coming from Kobe. I mean Kobe is an "alleged" rapist so we already knew he was scum and shouldn't expect human decency from him, but Jo is someone who I expected was better than that.

    FWIW I don't go in for the calling Chris Bosh a pussy either, that's misogynist crap that should stop too. When you you homophobic or sexist slurs it might seem like it's only a small thing, but it's those small things that are the background that says gay people or women are not deserving of basic human dignity and respect, and that's the culture that enables acts of violence such as the beating of gay people and the rape of women.

    So not cool at all from Noah, and his apology, while better than Kobe's complete non-apology, still leaves a fair bit to be desired IMO. Dude, you can't say "Anybody who knows me knows that I'm not like that". You clearly are like that, you've been caught on camera being like that. He should be saying "I am like that and it's deplorable and I'll try to change myself so I'm not like that in the future".

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    in the heat of the moment you don't always choose your words carefully, especially with all the tetosterone & adreneline running wild, but I do agree with you, in theory

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I'm not saying that Noah is a bad guy or anything, but given our society it would be impossible not to be somewhat prejudiced against gay people and in the heat of the moment those prejudices come to the front when we don't engage our brains before our mouths.

    I'm just saying Noah should own that. Whenever someone comes out and says something offensive there's always a backing away like it's not the real person saying that. It is the real person ... the unfortunate reality is we're all racist, sexist, homophobic, etc to some extent because of the culture we're swimming in. This constant pretending that we're not when some of it slips out doesn't help improve the situation at all.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I don't believe he is prejudiced against the gay community. I think our society & culture programs certain behaviors & responses, in this case an insulting word, & he used it without thinking.

    Its like how some people might say when you are intoxicated your true self comes out. No, not completely. Alcohol is a depresant & can cause you to act in unusual ways. Same here. Heat of the moment, all kinds of chemicals firing off in his brain, a drunken fan testing his nerves...boom, he goes off. He uses a word I'm sure he's heard thousands of times growing up in NYC & elsewhere. The most you can say about him is he's emotional, news flash, but I'm not so sure you can say he's prejudiced.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    it might be the real person, but the point is in such circumstances, you don't have the benefit of chosing your words. Something just comes out. Your trying to hurt the other person. I don't believe that makes him prejudiced. But I don't believe Noah has really backed off his comments. He appologized & it seemed sincere.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    What the hell is Noah doing reacting to a fan during a game where he only scores 1 pt and gets 5 rebounds.
    His apology is weak. I agree with Shakes. It is like you cause that's what you said.
    There are no excuses.
    Trying to improve in the future is the only response.
    And yelling at a fan during a playoff game no matter what you say is not OK.
    Like Reese says....focus.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    I think at this point waldoock, the Bulls being focused isnt the problem here. The veterans and talent of the Heat and Mavericks are starting to show what they are made of and in the Bulls case, they are a young team like OKC but the Bulls could win this series if they were more consistent and had 1 more scorer to help Rose. Miami just has too much talent and scorers that can get the job done and the Bulls have Rose and a bunch of inconsistent role players. IMO this series is over cause of the defense that the Heat are now playing against the Bulls. If I thought the Bulls role players could step up with big games I would give the Bulls a chance to win game 4 but the inconsistency is just too obvious and Miami see this. I hope that the Bulls can win and tie the series up, but its starting to look like a rematch of the 2006 finals... Miami vs Dallas, matter of fact I will garuntee that's what this years finals will be.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    A few random thoughts: "Faggot" is a pretty weak insult, in my mind. And it's bizarre the the word is still even around. I last used it with regularity (in the same way, usually as a joke insult for one of my friends) about 20 years ago! If Noah wants to fire back at one of these clowns (hey, there's option #1!), there's hundreds of better words that won't cost him $50G.

    By the way, even though Noah is yet another basketball player who earns an OBSCENE amount of money, this fine also seems to be equally, obscenely high.

    One of my best friends is gay and admittedly, I would never even think of using the term around him, as I know it would hurt him (even if it wasn't directed at him), and thus it's not a word I ever say anymore. Just like I wouldn't use the word "ni--er" around one of my African-American buddies, and similarly never use it in any situation. The two words are similar in that if you belong to the community for which that word is directed at, then perhaps you have the right to use it (gays, though, more often use the word "Queen" to describe a gay man who is very feminine and sensitive).

    Lastly, there's parallels to that episode of Friday Night Lights, when Smash (a black football star) goes to a movie theater, in a white part of town, with his white girlfriend. His sister sits alone in order to give the lovers their space, but then she starts getting insulted by three white teenagers behind her. Smash comes over and tells them to leave his sister alone, but then one of these racist idiots ways, "Hey, you got one of ours, so she can be ours." And Smash predictably loses it, and literally smashes the guys face in, rapidly, before leaving the theater quickly with his girlfriend and sister. He later gets suspended by the school board and jeopardizes the team's chance at making the playoffs.

    In other words, Noah, keep your cool. One wrong does not mean you should respond with another wrong. Eye for an eye may feel good temporarily, but usually it'll only get your team in trouble.

    I played center for my high basketball team and once was literally punched in the gut by the opposing team point guard. It happened in the middle of the game, while I screened him under the basket. The refs didn't see it and despite me calling their attention to it, they didn't do anything. So I unwisely took the matter into my own hands. Next time down the court I ran towards this punk as if to set another screen but this time took him out with a forearm shot to the head. Admittedly, it felt really good, temporarily. But I got thrown out of the game, while he got off the floor smiling. I only hurt my team . . .

  • In reply to Waldock:

    No matter how much "Sir" Charles says he doesn't want to be a role model I'm afraid anyone and everyone in a position to be seen as a role model has a responsibility.
    We here in England have a big problem with Premier League soccer players regularly verbally abusing the Refs; and every time a newspaper article is written about it the sidebar is from a Junior Soccer coach telling the paper how hard it is to make the kids respect the refs when every week they see their "idols" on the TV abusing the refs.

    It is all about setting an example that is acceptable to society as a whole. So sport stars, actors, politicians etc have a duty to set the tone of acceptability. The word faggot in itself is not the issue as I'm sure in 10-20 years time it will be used as derogatory word without any homophobic connotations (as many words have adapted eg gay moron). As others have said above, society has a list of names that you can acceptably use to hurl abuse at another (if that's what you're into!!) but there are other words that you cannot use for one reason or another. The list is constantly changing and I'm sure one day we will arrive at the situation that words will have to be made up to cause "Real" offence as all the words presently used have become "acceptable?"
    [My grandma would turn in her grave to have to listen to the use of profanities used in soap operas these days]

    But whilst society has its list of words you can and cannot use then ALL people seen as role models should be pulled up for using them.

    This is not meant as a defence of Joakim but I do understand the heat of the moment use of a word that we later regret using and I do believe that our brain is so wired that in these red mist situations when you want to use an expletive to describe your emotions your brain will instinctively chose one from the "non-acceptable" list for greater effect. We all know the phrases "bite your tongue" "count to ten before saying anything" and I think that is the advise that all role models need to take on board.

    Just an aside; it wasn't John Amaechi in the crowd was it?

  • In reply to Jersey66:

    maybe it was Chris Bosh.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    1. If you look at it cynically, How much is this about the NBA trying to sell that last seat, last TV deal to the Gay community?
    2. That said, there are enough knuckleheads in this world who abuse anyone/everyone at the slightest provocation of their imagined interest. They can easily get violent on the gay community because of their intolerance or even fun.
    The only issue I have is they should have thrown the fan out. I know this is a free society but they shouldn't be selling so much alchohol.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Way overblown ... all of this.

    They can drop F-bombs all over the place and no one cares, but one little word that offends a particular activist group and boom, everyone gets all politically correct all of a sudden.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    It is not the political correctness. These kind of things grow fast and becomes a part of normal life of some people if they are not nipped in the bud. They can then do some real stupid things.
    I feel our society is not ready to accept this word like the F-bomb words. That is the difference.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Yet school kids can call each other faggots without punishment, but they drop an F-bomb and get a detention. You can't compare the two words.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    totally agree.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    this is sports not an upper east side tea party.

    That is the problem with allowing women to join any male endeavor, they immediately want to change the rules by which the game is played and all of our sensibilities have to be lowered to those of the weakest members.

    AT the rate that this crap is going, there won't be anybody left to join Seal team 6.

    Faggot seems to have benn elevated to the level of the n word, and it doesn't deserve to be. I am not saying that these guys should be using these words on the podium in the post game interview, but on the court in the heat of battle, that should be a private moment among the combatants, not subject to the PC police.

  • In reply to BigWay:


  • In reply to BigWay:


  • In reply to ChiRy:

    and it has been going on on playgrounds around the world for as long as men have competed in sports.

    If it wasn't for the feminization or pussyfication of our entire society no one would give a shit.

    Boys just being boys is part of life and part of growing up, and the loss of this ability is a loss to society no matter what the PC Nazi's say.

    I am no Kobe fan, but I would have sued somebody, everybody before I coughed up that $100,000.

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